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  1. Thanks everyone. We're taking a chance booking it, but we had to cancel this year's cruise and this 2021 itinerary overlaps perfectly with the kids' half term so we thought we'd risk it!
  2. Good morning everyone. We've just booked a cruise on Discovery for May 2021 (American Dream) and are in the process of selecting cabins. We have 2 single outside cabins on Deck 3 and were hoping to be next to one another. The only available adjoining cabins are opposite something called Studio 3. It doesn't say on the deck plans what it is and the booking agent seemed to think it might be a disco. This seemed unlikely next to cabins; Studio 3 is next to the photographic studio, so I wondered if it was connected with that? Any help much appreciated! Nicola.
  3. I've posted here several times about the saga of trying to get a refund, and wanted to update everyone on the latest. We have finally, FINALLY, managed to get a refund. After multiple calls and emails (most of the calls just rang out) I managed to speak to customer services on 16th June. They explained that the first 10 days after cruises began to be cancelled were a real problem for TUI and most of the refunds from that period still hadn't been paid. This was because Head Office didn't change any of their processes, so refunds were having to be processed through multiple departments all of whom were starting to close down/be furloughed, work from home. Our cruise was scheduled for 31st March, so was right in the middle of this period. When the customer service lady investigated she said that TUI had tried to send the payment to my bank in the middle of May but it had been rejected. Instead of then contacting me to check why, my refund seemed to have been stuck on the 'deal with it later' pile. It transpired that in the process of multiple departments dealing with the refund, 2 of the digits of my bank account number had been transposed which is why the bank rejected it. I was told that the Finance department would ring me to arrange for the refund to be recredited. That didn't happen, but instead a cheque arrived in the post 10 days later. I didn't want to jinx anything by posting this before the cheque had actually cleared, but now it has. So, I thought this might be helpful to those of us who have been waiting on refunds since the beginning of lockdown (Nancyneptune you spring to mind). If you can get through to customer services, have them double check all the bank details they have for you. I'm sure I'm not the only one this has happened to.
  4. It's now 9 weeks since our cruise was cancelled (scheduled to fly out on 31st March) and we still haven't received any sort of credit reference number. Maybe because they agreed to a refund on the day of cancellation? If so, I'd like to know when I'll see the refund, 'cos I'm still waiting..... Have tried to call the customer services lines 4 times in the past 2 days (after trying several times in the past couple of weeks). Can't even get onto a queue, just keep getting a recorded message that they're busy and can't take my call. Infuriating.
  5. Another update on this saga, and unfortunately I'm going to take back what I said about good customer service. It was from the individual lady at the call centre, but it hasn't been followed up by Tui. Over a month on and still no sign of my £5k, but I've had 5 generic emails from Tui offering me rebooking. I've also had an email two weeks ago confirming that the refund would be processed but for £500 less than I paid. No reason given for that. I've tried to ring customer services a couple of times, but no luck getting through so far. I realise they're inundated and they're struggling to manage cashflow but IF they survive this crisis they need to take a very hard look at their customer service model (not to mention their PR and their crisis management - both shocking).
  6. I posted yesterday when I didn't have very good news, so I want to post today with an update. Tui customer services phoned me at 7.30 last night (after I'd spoken to them originally at lunchtime when they could only offer a rebook). This time they offered me a refund on the spot, which I accepted. It was the same lady I'd spoken to at lunchtime (Heidi, very helpful), she said they were all staying late to try and sort out everyone's queries so that they could start again fresh today. Very sensible approach by Tui. I didn't hold out much hope of getting a call back and had resigned myself to a fight, but this is good customer service.
  7. Just spoke to customer services, won't give me a refund. Due to sail on 31st March on Discovery 2 (round trip Jamaica), which was obvious wasn't going to sail when all the ports are closed to entry. Two weeks out, hadn't heard from them, just rang. Situation changing "minute by minute", "until we're briefed we've been told we can only rebook and not issue refunds". Don't want to rebook at the moment, the situation is too uncertain and I was taking kids with me who are tied by school holidays. Come on Tui, I expect better.....
  8. Good morning everyone. Sorry for posting here, but there doesn't seem to be a roll call for our cruise, which sails from Montego Bay in just over 3 weeks (31st March). One of the stops is listed as Samana (Caya Levantado), but I'm struggling to find any information on whether we are anchoring off of Caya Levantado or not. The shore information on this website would seem to suggest that if we're not, then we won't be able to access Caya Levantado at all. However why include it in the title of the stop, as our itinerary does, if we can't access it? Marella customer service didn't help, just sent me the link to shore excursions which told me nothing! So I'm hoping that someone out there might know....? Also whilst writing, could I ask about Amber Cove? I believe it's a private resort for Carnival Cruises but we're docking there as well. I'm assuming that we will have access to the resort, or is that a false assumption...? Thanks in advance for any information, unfortunately my family assume that I will plan activities for every port! Nicola
  9. Thank you so much for your detailed reviews. We're heading off on the identical trip on Jade next Thursday, the 20th. Can't wait!
  10. we had heard something similar when we were cruising the Baltic last September on Oceania. We also booked with Alla for the 2 day St Petersburg tour and were so concerned that we might be delayed that we got off the ship an hour before we were scheduled to meet them to make sure we had enough time to get through immigration. As it was we sailed through (make sure you have the Alla paperwork with you to show they have organised your visa) and had to hang around for about 40 mins. Second day was even easier, through in about 10 mins. Enjoy your trip with Alla, it was superb. We added on the ballet the first evening and they booked the most dreadful seats so we wouldn't advise that, but the day tours were first class.
  11. Yes indeed CazV. We confirmed it with NCL ourselves before we added the Free at Sea offer for our trip on Jade in 2 weeks time (yikes!). Of course having paid 150% of the sticker price for the cabin in the first place means we're still penalised for going solo, but hey we grab our benefits where we can!
  12. I prefer a tote bag so that I can carry everything mentioned above, plus a bottle of water and a small telescopic umbrella. You may need both of those in the Baltics in August as you are likely to have both heat and/or a shower. We did it last September and loved it, especially St Petersburg!
  13. Thanks everyone, that clears it up. Nicola
  14. Please excuse the rather random question but we are first-time NCL cruisers on Jade next month and we NEED our cup of tea first thing in the morning (what can I say, we're English!). As we're in a standard OV, and from reading some of the posts on here, it doesn't look like there will be a coffee maker or anything like it in the cabin. Room service/continental breakfast order isn't ideal as we're not good at waiting. So my question is: has anyone ever asked NCL for a kettle or coffee maker to be put in their cabin? If so, was there a rental charge? Happy to pay it, just trying to sort out our options. TIA Nicola
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